Mariah is a 20-year-old Lebanese girl who is majoring in English Literature. The very first time Mariah attended the young adults gathering was during the 2021 Christmas celebration meeting. She did not stay and asked that she be sent back home because the hymns and prayers were completely different from Mass. It was very strange for her. “I did not accept what was happening during that meeting because it was not traditional and liturgical. The hymns sounded strange to me, and because they had different melodies and not one united melody, I thought to myself that this is not godly.”
What led Mariah to come again was her fiancé who was attending and pleaded with her to be with him there. “Though I came, I was very upset. I felt I was sinning against my church,” she said. “Day after day, spiritual questions started forming in my head, and I started asking them. Many of those questions were answered during the young adults’ gatherings, and I started to take an interest.”
There, she found acceptance and true Christian love that she has never found anywhere else. “When I opened my heart, I saw that I was engulfed with true love. People loved each other genuinely; it was unconditional. I have been to other places, but I always saw fake love or a complete lack thereof. This revelation made me want to go (to church) out of a personal decision and need for the first time,” Mariah shared.
“I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I started feeling the importance of the young adults’ meetings. I came to know many truths. I started to know the many false teachings that I lived by and was ready to drop them all and embrace true Christianity. I told my parents about my faith, but they did not accept the fact that I now am a member of an Evangelical church. From there on, they started to persecute me. I prayed for the Lord to interfere and give me the wisdom to face this battle and win my parents to Christ.”
Now, Mariah is attending discipleship courses and serving the Lord through the youth group. “I felt that I am worthy when I started serving the Lord and felt more so when I shared Him with others. I saw that the Lord has seen me faithful enough to give me such great responsibility.”